• Psychological Struggle

    Ridicule as Strategic Communication

    Kristin Fleischer at COMOPS comments on friend Mike Waller’s suggestion in Fighting the War of Ideas like Real War that ridicule is a “secret weapon worse than death.” Although the suggestion that ridicule and satire are legitimate tools of strategic communication might receive some – dare I say it – ridicule, Waller’s argument is a good one. Ridicule and satire have a long history in warfare, and they have been deployed both offensively and defensively. In the U.S., ridicule was used in the Revolutionary War, both to mock the British troops and to raise the morale of the American fighters. In WWII, domestic use of ridicule targeted Hitler, Mussolini and…